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A significant concern for many employers facing a representation election or its aftermath is losing the flexibility to appropriately handle employee disciplinary issues. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) did not do employers with these concerns any favors with its decision in Alan Ritchey Inc. near the close of the calendar year. Through this decision, with a three-member majority consisting of Chairman Mark Gaston Pearce and members Richard Griffin and Sharon Block, the board imposed new obligations to bargain following an election. Under the new standard, an employer must bargain over matters of discretionary discipline following the election of a union and prior to implementing a collective bargaining agreement.

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